Chile: Copper prices soar in August
September 5, 2017
Copper prices rose for the third consecutive month in August, reaching their highest level in well over two years. Copper prices averaged USD 2.95 per pound (equivalent to USD 6,493 per ton) in August, up 8.5% from July’s average price of USD 2.71 per pound. In annual terms, copper prices increased 36.8% in August.
Last month’s rise in prices was underpinned by further encouraging signs from China, the world’s number one consumer of the red metal, after manufacturing growth in the Asian giant accelerated in August. This follows the news which surfaced in late July that the Chinese government is considering a ban on imports of scrap, which could boost demand for other forms of copper, such as copper concentrate or refined metal. Speculative buying has likely also played a role in buoying prices, with investors wagering that the rise in the number of electric vehicles will boost demand for the metal.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist